Spotlight: Carson and Mrs. Hughes' Road to Romance
Fans have demanded it. Even Downton's Mr. Carson, Jim Carter, has called for it. Now, Charles Carson and Elsie Hughes (Chelsie?) are finally engaged! In celebration, revisit their most touching shared moments. After all, as Mr. Carson once said, "The business of life is the acquisition of memories." In that spirit, enjoy memories of the slow-burn romance that culminated in his proposal, her acceptance, and their pending union.
Finding out that Mrs. Hughes doesn't have cancer, Carson is so relieved that he breaks out into song as he polishes silver. "Dashing away with a smoothing iron…dashing away with a smoothing iron…she stole my heart away…" Hearing his song, she is privately overcome. (Season 3 Episode 2)
With the family away at Duneagle, Carson and Mrs. Hughes bond over baby Sybbie, revealing that Carson is just a big softie after all. (Season 3 Episode 7)
At the staff's day at the seaside, Carson is reluctant to wade into the water, fearful that he'll get his trousers wet, or worse. But he agrees to take Mrs. Hughes' offered hand.
Mr. Carson: "I think I will hold your hand. It'll make me feel a bit steadier."
Mrs. Hughes: "You can always hold my hand if you need to feel steady."
(Season 4 Episode 8)
There's a long history of disagreement between two such principled and strong characters as Carson and Mrs. Hughes. But when they disagree over the site of the memorial, is troubles him deeply. In a rare moment of vulnerability that suggests how much he cares about her opinion and values their friendship, he states, "I don't like it when we are not on the same side." (Season 5 Episode 2)
When Carson makes the proposal that has Mrs. Hughes "all agog," that they invest in a property together, spruce it up and share the rental income for retirement, her only reply is "Go and ring that gong." But a warm, wide smile spreads across her face, suggesting private joy. (Season 5 Episode 6)
When Carson states, "I do want to be stuck with you," and makes the proposal that could knock Mrs. Hughes down with a feather, she brings him close to tears (!) when she accepts, "Of course I'll marry you, you old booby. I thought you'd never ask."
In the mood for romance? See a collection of the best romantic moments from every season of Downton Abbey! Which is your favorite? #DowntonPBS